2005 Alion (Vega Sicilia) Ribera del Duero
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Alion has a captivating perfume of smoke, pencil lead, violets, truffle, cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied, firm, sweetly-fruited, layered, and splendidly balanced. It has several years of aging potential ... (JM)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Smoky and wild on the nose, showing assertively pungent cherry and blackcurrant aromas, along with notes of pipe tobacco and smoked meat. Powerful, palate-staining cherry-cola and licorice flavors are given bite by a bitter berry skin quality. The licorice and smoky notes repeat on the long, focused finish, which reveals a sneaky sweetness. Showing a lot of power, and built to age.
Black fruit compote; super-smooth and caressing, still delicate and subtle, yet somehow unputdownable. The fruit has a tremendous clarity and a soft bite to the tannin, still plenty of weight in the mid-palate and is probably just drawing the curtains on its drinking window. There is a slight indication of the leather and savoury spice to come. (RH)
Produced in a softer, more modern style, here is your opportunity to get a taste of Vega Sicilia's winemaking for a modest sum. Purchased by Vega Sicilia in 1992, Alion shares the same vineyard management and winemaking team. Though you might have had Ribera del Duero produced by growers who sell fruit to Vega Sicila, or from a bodega 'across the road' from Vega Sicilia, simply put ... it ain't Vega Sicilia. Neither is this, but it's the next best thing, benefitting from all the financial and intellectual resources of Spain's first growth, as well as their uncanny sense to make the most elegant and balanced wines of the region.